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Castle Craig Blog

Staying sober for one week. What is it like?

Want to reach seven days sober? Take it one hour at a time Whether you’re in treatment, detoxing on your own or in an AA meeting, it’s a really good idea to find someone who has been sober just a little longer than you have. The old-timers or therapists who have been sober for years are not as much use in the first week of sobriety. They have forgotten the shakes, the rage, the unbearable cravings to use or drink one more time. They might have even forgotten the agony of withdrawal. Once you decide to get sober, your first…

Alternatives to private rehab for addiction recovery

Alternatives to private rehab for addiction recovery

No single treatment type is right for everyone Plenty of people in the public eye talk about going to rehab. Many musicians, actors and artists speak very openly about it, but is this the only type of drug and alcohol addiction treatment on offer? The answer is: No, there are in fact other options available to you, and your GP may be a good place to start. Organisations range from NHS treatment to charities and private companies. However, the quality of care varies and many have long waiting lists. Your options often depend on several factors Age  Financial situation Length…

There Is No Rehab Centre Near Me, What Should I Do?

Finding a rehab centre is easy, but finding a world-class treatment centre near you is harder. So what should you be looking for? While there are many private residential rehabs in the UK, the number is still in the very low hundreds and they are mainly found in or around cities. Other inpatient NHS treatment centres are available, however, the number of these facilities is just as low and entry waiting lists are long. Although cities can be well serviced, outside of urban areas rehabs are thin on the ground. So what should you do if you’re in need of treatment?…

a day in rehab

How a day in rehab works, timetables schedules/structure

What A Typical Day in Rehab Looks Like Every patient is an individual and has different needs and requirements. However, there is common ground within all addiction treatment that can be incorporated in a ‘programme.’ When starting one of our addiction recovery programmes, people work with their therapist and consultant psychiatrists on their addiction and co-occurring issues that leads them to use or drink in the first place. Many patients have a dual diagnosis. This means they may present symptoms of poor mental health. This is also treated at Castle Craig. Our model is not a ‘one size fits all’….

I wish I knew then what I know now: a journey through rehab

I wish I knew then what I know now: a journey through rehab

When you are ill and in the throes of addiction, disasters seem to follow you around When you are ill and in the throes of addiction, disasters seem to follow you around while drinking, lying, sleeping, crying, using, shouting or simply blacking out One thing is certain though: you know absolutely nothing about getting sober.  Denial is something that therapists frown on, but for the active alcoholic, it can keep you and your addiction alive. “It’s not too bad, it will get better, she/he will fix me, that car/job/new phone will magically make everything better.” But it doesn’t, does it?…

Choosing the right rehab. Local nationwide or abroad, where to go for rehab

Choosing the right rehab. Local, nationwide or abroad, where to go for rehab?

Which where and why? Now that you’ve decided to get help for your drug or alcohol addiction, the next step is to look into the most suitable rehabs that can equip you with the right tools for long-term sobriety. City or countryside?  The type of location is often a personal choice. Some people find being in the countryside more relaxing, others want to remain in a town or city. It is important to remember that you only really leave the facilities during a stay in residential rehab to go to an AA or NA meeting. Recreational outings such as they…

How to Help Someone with an Addiction

How to Help an Addicted Friend or Family member This section will guide you on how to help someone with an addiction. When someone struggles with addiction, it can have serious negative effects on their relationships with family, friends, and work colleagues. If you know or suspect that someone in your life suffers from alcohol or drug addiction, you will probably want to help the one that you love, but this can be met with hostility or denial. Addiction is a chronic,  often relapsing emotional illness, and the path to recovery for someone who is addicted is often a long…

stress alcohol

How to Deal with Stress without Alcohol

Stress is a natural reaction that occurs in response to our everyday experiences, and we all have to deal with it from time to time Whether it comes from our day-to-day responsibilities like work and family, or serious events such as illness or death, stress is an inevitable part of our lives. Problems may occur, however, if you begin dealing with stressful situations using unhealthy methods, like turning to alcohol. This page will explore how using alcohol to cope with stress can cause further harm to your wellbeing while also outlining helpful ways to manage these feelings. Stress and alcohol…

Why Does Alcohol Cause the Shakes?

  This article is medically reviewed by Dr Peter McCann, MSC, MBBS. Dr McCann is a is a Psychiatry and Internal Medicine Resident at Duke University Hospital, USA.     What are ‘the shakes’ and what causes them? The ‘alcohol shakes’ is a term to describe tremors caused by Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome, which occurs in some frequent alcohol users when they suddenly stop drinking.  It is part of a condition called alcohol withdrawal syndrome that occurs in around 50% of people with heavy alcohol use. In the mild form, typical symptoms other than tremor include anxiety, sweating, nausea, restlessness, headaches…

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Safety Response

Castle Craig is open and Covid-free and we continue to offer our much needed residential addiction treatment for patients during the Coronavirus pandemic. Travel to Scotland from the rest of the UK and all European countries is allowed for healthcare purposes. These are difficult times and we want to reassure our patients, their families and people who desperately need treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, that we are committed to providing the safest environment for recovery possible. We have taken special measures to ensure that our clinic operates safely and some complementary therapies have been paused.   Information on Actions…

Castle Craig Rated ‘Exceptional’ in Latest HIS Inspection

Castle Craig had an inspection from our regulators Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) recently and today we have received the official report.  They found our infection prevention and control policies and procedures, were excellent and comprehensive. They commented on the thorough Covid-19 risk assessments which had been carried out and the effective processes we had in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission.   The inspectors commented on the positive attitude and evident teamwork of all the staff that they spoke to, and also the supportive and appreciate attitude of the patients. HIS uses the ratings ‘Exceptional’, ‘Good’, ‘Satisfactory’ or ‘Unsatisfactory’…

Online gambling vs real gambling

8 Reasons why online gambling is more addictive than casino gambling

In 1996 the first ever real stakes online casino was launched. Now there are thousands of gambling sites, and millions of  gamblers place their bets and participate in the world of online gambling.  It might seem like harmless fun to start with, but Sheldon Adelson, Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., the largest bricks and mortar casino operating company in the world, describes online gambling as ‘fools gold’ and ‘a societal train wreck waiting to happen’. The ‘Richest Man in Vegas’ may have a vested interest in attacking online gambling, but he might just be right.  So what’s…

8 Reasons to Spend Christmas in Rehab

Would you believe it if we said that Christmas is the perfect time of year to leave your family behind, forget the parties and gatherings and Christmas shopping, and Christmas markets and go to rehab? With Christmas being a nostalgic time of year steeped in tradition, spending the Christmas season in residential rehab to get sober and leave alcohol behind doesn’t exactly spell “festive” by many people’s standards. However, if you’re struggling with alcohol, drugs, or any type of addiction, it could be the best time of year for you to go for rehab treatment. Not only will you give…

How are we performing? Recent patient satisfaction levels

We regularly run audits on patient satisfaction levels to make sure we are listening and responding to what our patients are saying. Recent surveys taken in July and September found the following: Our patients describe our staff as ‘very kind’, ‘supportive’, ‘diligent’, ‘fantastic’, ‘absolute treasures’, ‘rays of sunshine’ and ‘efficient’. Every category rated 100% Good, Very Good or Excellent, with particular praise for nursing care, individual therapist care and staff support. Ratings increased to Very Good or Excellent for ‘Catering’ (88%), ‘Accommodation’ (89%), for ‘Fitness’ (89%). New fields for ‘Use of ICT’ and ‘Hygiene, Health & Safety and Infection Control’…

In memory of Father Hugh Purcell

Everyone at Castle Craig was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Father Hugh Purcell, who recently died suddenly at St John Vianney’s parish house in Gilmerton at the age of 62. Father Hugh had a long relationship with Castle Craig; for many years he was our pastoral counsellor, helping many patients into recovery. He spoke openly of his addiction issues and our patients and staff loved his warmth, his spirit, and his down-to-earth nature. An obituary can be read on the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh website, while some of the team at Castle Craig have said…

Coronavirus alcohol drinking home

Royal College of Psychiatrists show drinking has nearly doubled since lockdown

High-risk drinking has nearly doubled since lockdown, reports the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and addiction services are in desperate need of funding. Castle Craig’s data supports this, with website visitors more than doubling, a record number of daily enquiries to our Help Desk, and a rising number of enquiries about the Castle Telehealth online addiction therapy programme. The Royal College of Psychiatrists today issued a statement after analysing data from Public Health England which shows that the rate of people in England drinking “high risk” amounts of alcohol has almost doubled at 19% in June, up from 10.8% in February…

How Has 12 Step Recovery Helped You Prepare for the Coronavirus Pandemic?

In recovery we remember the isolation our addiction brought us to, so we knew what isolation meant and how it felt. In 2020, that’s something which has been new for a lot of people – especially family members of those with addiction – they didn’t understand what it meant when we talked about those feelings of isolation. Now they’re really realising what that is and what that does to you. Most important of these is Step 1.  Step 1 – Admitted we were powerless and our lives were unmanageable In terms of global issues that are facing us, Step 1…

Many people are finding the coronavirus situation is increasing their anxiety

Coronavirus presents a new challenge to sobriety

Addiction sufferers and their families face new challenges.  Coronavirus increases the dangers faced in recovery and has also adversely affected some well-tried responses which, until now, have proved reliable. The sudden arrival of coronavirus has brought everyone out of their comfort zones. Stress levels are high, mainly due to fear of the disease itself. There is also fear of consequences such as financial meltdown. Throughout the UK and around the world people are anxious, afraid and wondering what to do about it all.  We are being told to self-isolate and distance ourselves socially and none of this is good news…

Peter and Dr McCann, founders of Castle Craig

Half a lifetime helping addiction recovery – Peter McCann celebrates 80th birthday

Almost 40 years ago, Peter McCann and his wife, Dr Margaret Ann McCann, began helping people with drug and alcohol addiction into a life of recovery.  This eventually led to the founding of Castle Craig Hospital in 1988. As he celebrates his 80th birthday having spent half of his lifetime helping people overcome addiction, we asked Peter to look back on his own life, and the changing face of addiction treatment. A genuine understanding of addiction Peter’s passion for helping people overcome addiction came from his own experience, along with coming from a family with a medical background. “It was…

Castle Connect Online Addictions Therapy

Castle Craig Extends a Lifeline for Addiction Sufferers During Lockdown

Following warnings from the World Health Organisation that people may increasingly turn to alcohol as an “unhelpful coping strategy” during the Coronavirus lockdown, Castle Craig Hospital, has restructured its intensive rehab programme into “Castle Connect” an online package to be transmitted across telehealth platforms.  Our team of skilled psychotherapists and addiction specialists are needed more than ever by people suffering from addictions, anxiety, stress and isolation. The online rehab programme, Castle Connect, enables people to engage with specialist addiction therapists from the comfort and safety of their own home. Many people who have considered rehab in the past will be able to use the lockdown as an opportunity to get the help they need.  Professor Jonathan Chick, Medical Director at Castle…

Coronavirus alcohol drinking home

Alcohol and Viral Immunity – Heavy Drinking Increases the Risk of Virus Infection

Excessive alcohol consumption is known to cause damage to both the physical and mental well-being, especially if consumed regularly or in large amounts. More so, it can lead to a lowered immune response, particularly when combined with stress. Castle Craig’s Medical Director, Professor Jonathan Chick, advises that during the COVID-19 pandemic it is important to avoid regular heavy drinking and heavy drinking sessions. Reducing or ceasing heavy drinking should improve immunity within days, (except in the case of liver damage). It is advisable to take extra precautions to keep ourselves and each other safe. As there is no known cure…

New Admissions Unit Opens at Castle Craig to Meet the Challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic

This blog article is not updated. For our latest Covid-19 Preparedness & Response Updates please visit our page castlecraig.co.uk/coronavirus In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Castle Craig rehab clinic has launched an innovative, separate admissions and detox unit to treat drug and alcohol addictions. The separate admissions unit, Kirkurd Unit, was created in response to the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic and the increased demand on NHS resources and closure of Private and NHS detox beds and rehab clinics around the UK. The Kirkurd Unit strives for enhanced Covid-19 screening at all stages of admission and detox and a 7 day social distancing…

Coronavirus Guide to Recovery Meetings

Addiction Recovery Support During the Coronavirus Epidemic

In the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, the biggest factor that will affect your day-to-day life is limiting public interaction. You may need to work from home, might avoid visiting elderly relatives, limit public gatherings and if you have children you will need to look at home-schooling them should the schools close. If you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has the virus you will need to self-isolate. As a person in addiction recovery, this makes things complicated. After all, you need to attend frequent recovery fellowship meetings, especially in the first months after treatment.  While…

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Alcohol

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a highly complex, stigmatised, and often misunderstood mental illness. So is addiction. Either one can make life very difficult for a person. Having both makes for an even bigger problem. Sadly, the rate of comorbidity between BPD and addiction, especially to alcohol, is extremely high. About half of those diagnosed with BPD meet the criteria for substance abuse or alcohol abuse disorder. This is one of the highest rates of comorbidity with alcoholism among all psychological illnesses. When a person has both illnesses, diagnosis can be very difficult, mainly because both BPD and alcoholism share…